Are you searching for fun things to do in Madison WI? If yes, then you have come to the right place! In this article, we will be listing a few of the best attractions in Madison WI for you to explore.
Madison is the state capital of Wisconsin and one of the top places to visit in Wisconsin for its culture and vibrance.
There are many Madison events to attend including the annual firework, music festival, and so on.
The city is also home to lots of first-class museums, art galleries, and is also the birthplace of the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, whose works are scattered throughout the city.
From hockey to ice fishing, to biking, there are lots of outdoor activities in Madison WI that you can try.
So, if you are overwhelmed about what to do in Madison Wisconsin, this guide will help you out. Check out our list of the 16 best things to do in Madison WI to have an amazing time here!
16 Best Things To Do in Madison WI You Shouldn’t Miss
Wisconsin State Capitol
A top attraction in Madison WI, Wisconsin State Capitol is located next to Lake Monona and Mendota and is a must-visit place in the city.
You can explore the exteriors of this building on foot and enjoy the stunning lakeside landscape.
Dating back to 1917, the architecture of this building is simply stunning. It features a gorgeous 284-foot dome at the top and is one of the best things to see in madison.
Inside the building, you will be greeted with amazing murals, gorgeous furniture, and marble from different countries such as Italy, France, etc.
One of the best things to do in Madison WI is to take a guided tour of the state capitol building and learn the history of this place.
Looking for free things to do in Madison WI? If yes, then don’t forget to check out Lakeview Park in Middleton, a top destination in the Midwest.
One of the most fun things to do in Madison WI, especially in the fall season, is to spend a day strolling around or playing in this park.
Children can play in the three playground areas while the adults can indulge in a little hiking, soccer game, or tennis match.
If you are visiting Madison in the autumn months, then one of the best things to do in Madison WI in the winter is experience fall in Wisconsin.
There is also a large shelter with a kitchen and restroom facility that you can reserve for the day or even spend a night here.
Madison is an amazing city in the Midwest that is also home to several beautiful lakes including Lake Mendota.
One of the best things to do in Madison Wisconsin is to visit this lake, especially when the weather is warmer. You can enjoy boating in this lake and can relax on the public beaches around it.
In summer, you can go swimming in this lake too to escape the summer heat.
During winters, one of the most fun things to do in Madison WI is to go ice skating or ice fishing in this lake. Trust me, a visit to this lake is a must regardless of which season you plan your trip.
University of Wisconsin Madison
The University of Wisconsin Madison is a top Madison WI attraction that you cannot miss out on. You can take a tour of this university to understand what they offer and the history of this place.
Apart from that, you can also visit the university’s arboretum where you can take a stroll in the garden and learn about the different plants grown
here. It is also one of the top attractions in Madison Wisconsin to learn about fossils and one can see and learn about different kinds of rocks in the Geology museum here.
There is no shortage of things to do and explore around this university, making it one of the top things to do in Madison WI.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens
Olbrich Botanical Gardens is another must-visit attraction in Madison Wisconsin that offers peaceful and colorful surroundings to visitors.
Opened in 1952, this garden blooms throughout the year and is one of the top things to do in Madison Wisconsin with kids.
The main highlights of this attraction are the Rose Garden and the Bolz Observatory, an indoor area where you can find indigenous foliage.
Another thing worth seeing in this park is Sala, a beautiful Thai-styled pavilion gifted by the Thai government to give you a glimpse of Asia in Wisconsin.
For nature lovers, one of the best things to do in Madison WI is taking a stroll around this beautiful park. And this would make an exciting Midwest road trip!
Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center
Another great Madison Wisconsin attraction to explore is the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. Although Frank Wright prepared the design for this place, he never saw it get completed in 1997.
However, you can see his work in architecture in the form of glass facades. This building is primarily for conventions and business events but you can take a tour of this building.
One of the top things to see in madison is the Monona terrace that offers you a stunning view of Lake Monona and downtown Madison.
Visiting Monona Terrace during sunset with your significant other is one of the most romantic things to do in Madison WI.
Madison’s Museum of Contemporary Art
For art lovers, one of the most fun things to do in Madison Wisconsin in the winter is to visit the famous Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.
This is the best place to learn the importance of creating and discussing art.
Inside the museum, you will find a huge exhibition area that features works from both local and international artists. Also, there are regular art-related events held here that you can check out.
Apart from hosting the most wonderful art pieces, this museum is also a work of art.
It has been designed in such a way that the front of the building resembles a ship’s bow. The entire three floors of the museum have a glass front that lends it a stylish and modern look.
So, if you are looking for the best things to do in Madison WI as an art connoisseur, then you should spend time at Madison’s Museum of Contemporary Art.
If you visit Wisconsin in Winter, Madison is a great place to start!
Madison Children’s Museum
If you are traveling to Madison with your children, then one of the best things to do in Madison WI with kids is visiting the Madison Children’s Museum.
This is one of the most fun museums in Madison that offers a wide range of interesting exhibits for young visitors.
From toddlers to pre-teens, there is a dedicated activity area for all ages in this museum which makes learning science fun for everyone.
You and your kids will enjoy the fun activities here including the art studio, the Wildernest global village, and more.
Trust me, this is one of the best Madison WI attractions to visit with your family on a cold or rainy day.
Blue Mounds State Park
If you are planning a Wisconsin road trip, then you cannot miss out on Blue Mounds State Park near Madison WI.
Blue Mounds State Park is a 30-minute drive from the city and is one of the best things to do near Madison WI.
It is a perfect place to visit for nature lovers as the park is rich in flora and fauna. Also, there are lots of outdoor activities to enjoy here such as hiking, camping, mountain biking, and more.
You can also visit the Cave of Mounds where you can take a guided tour of the caverns covered with stalactites and stalagmites.
If you love outdoor adventures, then one of the top things to do in Madison WI is visiting the nearby Blue Mounds State Park.
One Of The Best Things To Do In Madison WI Is Visiting Chazen Museum of Art
One of the top museums in Madison for art lovers, the Chazen Museum of Art features a variety of artworks including painting, sculptures, photography, prints, and more.
This is one of the best Madison WI attractions to witness both American and European artwork. There are rotating exhibits that feature both local and international work.
Visitors can take a guided tour of this art museum to learn about the history of the artwork displayed here.
For a little more fun, you can attend the concerts that are held regularly here. If you have a deep appreciation of art and culture, then visiting the Chazen Museum of Art is one of the top things to do in Madison WI.
Lake Monon a Is A Wonderful Outdoor Attraction In Madison Wisconsin
One of the most fun things to do in Madison Wisconsin is spending a few hours in and around Lake Monona.
This is one of the major lakes in the city that is fed by the Yahara River and offers lots of amazing and free things to do in Madison Wisconsin to enjoy the outdoors.
It stays frozen for most of the year which makes it great for ice skating in winters.
Trust me, enjoying the scenery around this lake is one of the best things to do in Madison WI.
Lake Kegonsa State Park
Confused about what to do in Madison Wi? Don’t be. One of the top things to do near Madison Wisconsin is Lake Kegonsa State Park which is popular for outdoor activities.
This state park has a stunning landscape with wetlands, prairies, and more and offers lots of camping grounds for visitors to use. The park is located around Lake Kegonsa so, there are many lakeside beaches to relax on as well.
Most importantly, there are lots of fun activities to indulge in such as fishing, boating, hiking, swimming, and so on. If you want some kickass things to do in Madison WI, then do check out this state park.
Wisconsin Historical Museum
Wish to learn about the history of this great city? If yes, then visit Wisconsin Historical Museum in Madison. It is one of the top museums in Madison that is located in Capitol Square and teaches you the historical and cultural significance of the city.
One of the top Madison Wisconsin attractions, this historical museum features rotating exhibitions and galleries along with a few permanent exhibitions.
You will find a fur trade post, a lumber camp, a malted milk creation process, and more in this museum.
A tour of this museum is one of the best things to do in Madison WI to understand the rich history and heritage of the Wisconsin state.
Camp Randall Stadium
Are you looking for fun Madison Wisconsin activities to join? Well, then why not take a tour of the famous Camp Randall Stadium in Madison!
Wisconsin is a big supporter of football and this stadium helps in keeping that tradition alive. Over 100 years old, visitors can watch the University of Wisconsin’s football team, the Badgers, practice in this stadium.
That’s not all, this stadium hosts many amazing sports and music-related Madison Wisconsin events too. Previously, U2 and The Rolling Stones have performed a concert here.
So, if you are looking for fun things to do in Madison WI, then you should visit Camp Randall Stadium and catch a game or a concert here.
Stalzy’s Deli & Bakery
If you are looking for amazing delis and restaurants in Madison WI, then you should try Stalzy’s Deli & Bakery.
One of the top things to do in Madison Wisconsin at night is to visit this famous deli in the city and enjoy a scrumptious meal there.
They make the best sandwiches in the city including several delightful items such as BLT sandwiches, club sandwiches, burgers, and more.
Their menu is definitely something and you should come back there several times to try everything that they have to offer.
Looking for memorable things to do in Madison WI? Then don’t forget to try the amazing food at Stalzy’s Deli & Bakery!
Visiting Dane County Farmer’s Market Is One Of The Delicious Things To Do In Madison WI
Looking for some fun Madison WI events to join? Then, check out Dane County Farmer’s Market, one of the largest producer-focused markets in the USA.
In this market, you will find all the fresh produce brought directly from the local farms which is not only healthy but tastes delicious too.
This market is held in Capital Square and is one of the top activities in Madison Wisconsin that you can be a part of.
You will find over 200 stalls here selling everything from fruits and vegetables to local products such as cheese, bread, and so on.
They also host several fun musical events and street performances for the visitors to enjoy.
This is why visiting this market is one of the top things to do in Madison WI.
Packing List When Visiting Madison Wisconsin
If you will be traveling, either by plane or by car to search out the best things to do in Madison WI, here are some tips on how to pack lightly.
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring along when visiting Madison WI attractions. It is always important to protect your personal information. Identity thieves are everywhere.
This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind. You can place it under your hiking clothes next to your body to carry your ID safely.
If you have a pouch already that does not come with the RFID protection, as I do, these RFID sleeves are the perfect solution.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery. This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips.
I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about, and if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek selfie stick and tripod setup for my birthday. I absolutely love it! It is made of lightweight aluminum and is so easy to use.
It has Bluetooth connectivity and is a breeze to use for taking Insta-worthy selfies while visiting the attractions in Madison Wisconsin.
I never much believed in using packing cubes when traveling. That is until I tried them. Now I am hooked. These are the exact cubes I use to stay organized when I pack for a trip!
Hydration is so important when on vacation. You want to remain hydrated throughout your trip to support your immune system which in turn will be stronger to fight off any germs you will encounter during your travels.
You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for your adventures and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack.
Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium in your suitcase, or in your car. Then this set of collapsible silicone foldable water bottles would work well for you. Would not take up much space at all.
You will want a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. during long hours of visiting the cities in the Midwest. No matter the time of day or evening.
This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great. And it comes in many different colors.
Here we have presented 16 awesome things to do in Madison WI, one of the best places to visit in the Midwest. We hope we have inspired you to take advantage of all that Madison WI has to offer!